I hope everyone is well and enjoying their summer. As many of you already know, I’m pleased and honored to be off on another Arts Envoy Program for the US State Department. In this program, I serve as a musical ambassador having the opportunity to exchange musical ideas and culture with men, women and children in other countries to promote goodwill and education in the creative and musical arts.
Once again, I’ll be traveling with my friend and musical colleague, Greg Engle. This time we are off to Mauritania, Africa on the western coast bordering the Sahara. Never heard of it? Me neither…until now. However, I can now tell you the music from this part of the world is unbelievably beautiful and mind-blowing. For that reason, I thought it was the perfect adventure to introduce you all to The Atticus Report, a podcast dedicated to exploring “music that’s good for something.”
In late 2014, I was privileged to release my latest record, Arizona, on Atticus Records. During the process of getting that record out to the world, my colleague and friend, Rick Busby, conceived of the idea of starting a podcast using a radio show format that looks into a wide variety of music from around the world. So far, we have created episodes about music from our own backyard in Austin, Texas to Southern Africa and Canada with future episodes planned for music from El Salvador and the Gulf Coast area of the United States. The program is called The Atticus Report and is hosted by Rick Busby and myself, produced by Atticus Records and distributed by DBM Entertainment.
In our very first episode released in January, “Music Diplomacy In Southern Africa,” we talk about our first two visits to Swaziland and Lesotho and interview Greg Engle about his life-long work in foreign service. You will get to hear some of the extraordinary musicians we have encountered. Many of these people are playing instruments I’ve never seen before that they built by hand. As Rick says, “It’s a testimony to the indomitability of the human spirit.”
Now the best part, it’s free to subscribe to The Atticus Report on iTunes or Android devices as well as the Atticus Report website. I hope you’ll give us a listen. We just finished an incredible show with Texas music icon, Bob Livingston, about his life in music. That show tells the story of the “Cosmic Cowboy” progressive country music scene he helped build and provides great insight into the history of Texas music in general. Bob is also a musical ambassador for the State Department and has toured more than 30 countries over time. To say Bob is a great storyteller is a whale of an understatement.
With that, I’ll say bye for now. We sincerely hope you subscribe to The Atticus Report and, if you like it, you will share it with your friends. We truly appreciate all of your support and look forward to seeing you soon.
Peace and love,